Obama's Other Weapons Smuggling Scandal
Documents show ATF secretly intercepted the grenade bodies Kingery had ordered, marked them, and delivered them to him on Jan. 26, 2010. Their plan was to follow Kingery to his weapons factory in Mexico, with help from Mexican authorities Immigration and Customs (ICE).
ATF realized they might lose track of Kingery and the grenade parts in Mexico. But their emails show little attention to those who could be killed. Instead, officials expressed concerned with tying the grenades to Kingery after they reached Mexico. "Even in a post blast, as long as the safety lever is recovered we will be able to identify these tagged grenades," says one email.
An official now investigating ATF and the Justice Department for their actions in the Kingery case tells CBS News: "All the usual safeguards of law enforcement were thrown out. They were more worried about making a big case than they were about the public safety."
The plan to allow Kingery to traffic grenade parts into a foreign country and track him to his factory drew strong internal objections.
"That's not possible," wrote a lead ATF official in Mexico. "We are forbidden from doing that type of activity. If ICE is telling you they can do that, they are full of [expletive]..."
ATF officials in Mexico worried that once Kingery and the grenades crossed the border, they would disappear. And that's exactly what happened. Though ATF agents say they'd given all the specifics to Mexican military and police, the Mexicans failed to stop Kingery once he crossed into Mexico.
Four months later, Kingery surfaced again in the U.S. This time, the Border Patrol caught him trying to smuggle the new stash of grenade hulls shown in the photos. ATF questioned him but, once again, he was let go. Nobody has stepped forward to explain why Kingery was released after this incident. He allegedly continued to supply the Mexican drug cartels for another year and a half.